My Biggest Regret In Cat Rescue

CCRDirector

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I made a post some of you may have read about how I am the director of a cat rescue volunteering 80-120 hours a week. I can take the hard work and long hours. But the one thing that has stayed with me is the loss over the last few years. Loss in inevitable and only accounts for a small percentage while the biggest number of the cats we rehome end up doing very well.

Recently we lost one of my favorites who was already 10 years old and had a femoral head removal because it was in 100 pieces. He was found in -10 degree temperature and his name was Frost. He was terribly beat up. His recovery was 2 months then afterwards he lived very comfortably and was spoiled beyond imagination with bird watching, canned food, and so on. He died 6 months later from late term diagnosed kidney failure. I tried every diet imaginable - the only thing he would eat after hours and hours and hours of trying? Purina. It is all he ever knew. The weird thing is he came into our life on the first it started snowing in 2019 (Feb/March) and died the first day it started snowing again (just recently). He lived to see it snow and not be part of how bitterly cold it can feel to be caught up in that. It is almost like he came into our lives to teach us something about how life values its quality and not its length. But I am still sad and honestly it revisits me everyday how if I caught the kidney failure earlier that we could have introduced fluids. But I know that is not logical.

Any thoughts are welcome...how do you deal with this kind of loss in rescue? Been at it 13 years. No loss as hard as this one. Still looking for ways to cope.
 

Maria Bayote

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I am so deeply sorry for your loss.

Each of us deals with loss and grief on our own individual ways, so there really is no plain process applicable for all. But take it one day at a time, until it gets a bit easier. As I always say, grief does not really go away. It just gets mellow in time.

You did all that you possibly could do. You gave this baby a loved and dignified life, and for that he is eternally grateful. You are a hero not only to him, but for all those cats you have rescued, cared and loved for 13 years. You never faltered, never gave up on them all these years -- and a lot still needs you to be their hero.

I am praying that you can get over this in time, even not totally. I pray that one day you will have to remember Frost with more of a smile, than of tears. The hardest part is remembering him every time the snow falls, but I pray you find beauty in remembering him when you first took him in, and not when you lost him.

Please hang in there. We are all here for you.
 

Jcatbird

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I am so sorry! Frost did come to teach us all. Your post about him just taught all who will be reading it. You personally have taught the readers and you taught Frost. You taught him about love and compassion. We really can’t give more than that to any living creature. If each has that at the end then they have the most comforting thing that can be given. I know that you already know that cats also want to comfort us. I believe that they would not want us to suffer either and something of them always remains with us. Maybe that’s why it hurts so much. They are still in our hearts.
In one of your other posts I mentioned raising my daughter. Besides working with these kitties and having losses there, I lost my child. The pain can be overwhelming and at first I felt as though it took my breath away. Each day I wondered if it would get easier. I kept going but the loss made it hard. My daughter was devoted to all creatures, great and small. The kitties seemed drawn to her. Her kitties stayed by my side and as they missed her they also tried to comfort me. Finally I had a dream about her. In the dream she fussed at me. She wanted me to smile again and reopen my heart. In life my daughter had never once been angry with me so the dream really got my attention. I awoke realizing that I had forgotten all the times she had made me smile, laugh or just feel loved. Somehow that shifted things for me. I’m not sure why but a weight was lifted. It’s not that I stopped grieving, it’s that I was able to remember with laughter. I know this may not help you to have any less grief but maybe it will help you to take a deep breath and wait until the day when you can remember how Frost amazed you, purred for you and gave you love as well as gratitude for giving that safe haven. I know that if my Sarah can be there for Frost, she will welcome him into a new safe haven and keep him near as they watch over you. If I could take the pain from you I would. Although i can’t do that I can be around to listen if you need someone and to offer you a part of my own heart until until yours can find a way through this. :redheartpump:
 

Maria Bayote

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Finally I had a dream about her. In the dream she fussed at me. She wanted me to smile again and reopen my heart. In life my daughter had never once been angry with me so the dream really got my attention. I awoke realizing that I had forgotten all the times she had made me smile, laugh or just feel loved.
Not to hijack this thread, but I just want to come over and hug you. Each of us may be a survivor in our own ways, and may have dealt in some kind of loss or defeat. I salute you for being strong. Not anyone can be able to live through this kind of loss.
 

Tik cat's mum

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Some cat's just have that hold on us. When me and my husband lost our boy Tik it was so painful. So much so that my husband has now said he doesn't want another cat, we still have one. He was his heart cat. But now we laugh and remember all the good thing's about him without feeling the intense grief like Maria said it hurts less. You did everything in your power for Frost and have been rescuing for 13 year's please don't let this stop you. I am sure Frost would want you smile when you remember him. THANKYOU for being there for him when he needed you and showing him love and kindness.:rbheart:
 

solomonar

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I know there are things much worst than Lady D.

In this case- imagine the End of that Cat if you did not rescue Her.

Put yourself in Her shoes: get naked and stay in frozen winter for 3 minutes. Do it in the night and be alone.

To compare, lay in your bed, reading your favorite book and let you fall asleep (sensations which is pretty much similar to kidney failure End, according to some).

====

Million of people dies every year from kidney failure, which could be prevented or treated if discovered earlier. Nobody did it and at later stages, very little can be done. If hundred billion USD research, prevention and treatment options can not save life of humans , how can somebody imagine that a Cat shelter running on voluntary basis could do it?!

You do what you can do.

You are a wonderful person, fighting for cats'life. So focus on the battle!

My tears for Frost the Cat and hugs to you!
 
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Norachan

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It's only natural to go through the lists of "If only...." and "What if I had....." when we lose someone we love. I lost one of my beloved rescues at the end of last year and of course I'm wondering if there was something I could have done to prevent her passing away. The truth is we do all we can to keep them happy and comfortable, but somethings just can't be helped. Thanks to you Frost spent his last six months in a warm, loving home, rather than dying unnoticed on the streets.

Wouldn't even just one day inside, with people to care for him, nice food to eat and a soft bed to sleep in have been worthwhile? Six whole months was a gift.

I know it doesn't feel long enough to you, but I'm sure Frost would disagree. You made a world of difference to him. Even though we cry for the ones we lost, we know there will be another one who needs our help sooner or later. We wouldn't ever turn our back on them, even though we know that a month or a year or ten years from now they're going to pass away and our hearts will be broken again.

Giving them a second chance at life makes it all worthwhile.

:hugs: :catlove:
 

di and bob

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We have all had failures in life, and it is what we bring with us into the future, the learning, that is important. Noone is perfect. We have to have failures to perfect what we do in the future. We can be right 99% of the time, do everything right, but it is that 1% that we remember and anguish over. If you do not have intention of bringing harm, there should be no guilt. You did what you could with what you had at the time, you loved that little boy, and that cannot be wrong. Grieving will forever bring all those should haves, could haves, it is a part of grieving. To come to terms with what you did, even admit you were wrong, and learn from it, is what is important. It is what makes us human. Cats live in the present, they do not fear death because it is a part of nature. To them, the now is their whole world. Look what you gave that sweet boy.....You will find that as you get older, and your own mortality gets more apparent, when we all get to that stage when we finally realize that we are NOT going to live forever, losses such as this get harder, take a little more of our soul. It is up to us to figure out how to fill that emptiness.
You gave that litle boy his everything. You said yourself he was spoiled and he was comfortable, that is all he ever wanted and you gave him that. He died knowing he was loved and that he meant something to someone, that he would be remembered. That is what is the most important in life, he had his world, and it was because of you and your cat rescue. For him that was enough, and he thanks you. For every one you lose, there are a hundred more you saved. Try to concentrate on the successes, not dwell on the failures. you will be blessed for your work, "Cats are not our whole world, but they make our world whole".....RIP dear Frost.......
 

Mamanyt1953

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Rest you gentle, Frost, dream you deep. Your pawprints are on someone's heart forever.

He came with the snow, and left with it again...but between those snows, he knew warmth, and care, and love. Turn your mind to those halcyon days...and know that he would not have exchanged those six months with you for another six years in the cold. Know also that you were blessed by knowing him. Had that knowing been for a day, a week, or a decade, you would have been blessed the same.

We do not get over our losses, but we do get through them. In a bit of time, your sweet memories of Frost will be stronger than your regrets that you could not to more than is humanly possible.

My heart with yours.
 

jefferd18

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I am so sorry to hear of Frost passing and my heart goes out to you. Some cats just have a special connection with us and it sounds like Frost had that bond with you. Even though you are grieving, please know that those last six months were the happiest that Frost had ever known.
 

FeebysOwner

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I am so sorry. You gave Frost more than he could have ever had imagined had you not taken care of him. And, yes, quality is more important than quantity. Frost knew that to his dying day, because he learned that from you and what you did for him.

Some cats just affect us more than others, and there are always reasons for it that we may not ever know.

Take away from this not what could have been done, but what was done - and the enduring life that Frost lives within you.
 

les26

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First I want to say THANK YOU for all of your hard work and dedication to these little creatures of God, without people like you MANY would suffer and have a horrible life here on Earth, but thanks to you and others like you they find love and compassion and some joy while here, so thank you.

It is probably normal to focus on the ones that you can't save rather than look at the ones that you did save. I know when I lost Simon and Sebastian over the last 5 years I thought the same thing, if only I would've done something sooner maybe they would still be here, but even people can go to the doctor every year and get checked out and pass unexpectedly so there is no guarantee that we would've extended their lives. We do the best that we can with what we can and what we have to go on at the time, we do our best with the information given us and love them with all of our hearts, and sometimes certain ones get to us more than others, and we remember the saying "you can't save them all" but it doesn't mean much at times like this, we feel we can, but we do what we can do and do it to the best of our abilities and with the help of God try to do our best.

I am sorry that you lost this special little friend, you of course wanted more time with him but he I know thoroughly enjoyed the time that he did have with you and because of you, and he is fine now, just fine, and the reunion one day will be wonderful.

"Their last breath on Earth is their first breath in Heaven" :rbheart:

I hope that your heart heals a bit more each day, Lord Bless you.......:alright: :grouphug2: :rbheart:
 

Leomc123

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i think the feeling you are feeling is cheated for him. As in you gave him a second chance for him to have a healthy life, and then he is taken. This cat comes into your life in bad shape, you loved him and made him healthy again and believed that he would be around for a long time as he was doing so well, but the underlying illness of kidney failure was there hidden no symptoms or it was difficult to even notice because of his injuries, operations, medications helped the illness to go unnoticed or harder to detect. And then you give all you got again to make him better, but this time he isnt getting better, and now he is gone. Its like you are feeling sad or maybe you are putting guilt on yourself for not noticing the symptoms of kidney failure.

But you did give him a second chance for him to feel love that he never experienced before he came to you, even if it was for a short time it was a million times better getting the love and care from you than him receiving nothing at all, or for him to be beaten up for the rest of his living life, he still also had someone beside him when he left, to love and care for him to let him rest.

Maybe the reason for him to come to you when it started to snow and then to leave before it snows again , is that god wanted you to be there for him to let this little kitty experience love , to be warm and happy , and you were chosen because you were the one capable of providing this for him before it got cold. When it snows , there are snow flakes , and each snowflake is unique, maybe there is uniqueness in the way you care for your rescues , and this cat was chosen by god and sent to you to tell you this.
 

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I am so sorry about Frost. You gave him a warm and loving home that he never otherwise would've had, and that is the most important thing. Thank you for all the important work that you do.
 
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